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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: rock doc


Rock Doc: Soil erosion has posed threats throughout history

This past fall I had to have a hole dug in my front lawn, part of a project to fix the sewer pipe that runs from my house to the …


Rock Doc: Excessive aerobic exercise can take a toll on heart

Medical science increasingly has some evidence of a principle your mother warned you about: There really is too much of a good thing. A few folks throw themselves headlong into …


Rock Doc: A truly ugly discovery

Science often advances by fits and starts. And sometimes new discoveries lurk in dusty old drawers of samples. Such was the case at Harvard University where for about 50 years …


Rock Doc: Progress of breast cancer research encouraging

I have an elderly aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago. She was treated and remained cancer-free for years. But I also had a next-door neighbor who …


Book Notes: Rock Doc’s book explores climate change

E. Kirsten Peters, who writes the Rock Doc column that runs in Monday’s Today section, has a new book out. Peters, a geologist by trade who taught geology and science …


Rock Doc: Earthquake planning can prevent you from getting rattled

What do the years 1872, 1936 and 2001 have in common? Those were years that Eastern Washington experienced earthquakes. Let’s start with the most recent. In June 2001, an earthquake …


Rock Doc: In wake of Sandy, time to appreciate ‘the grid’

Some say it’s the most complicated machine we’ve ever built. We rely on it not just each day, but each moment of each day. It reaches into our homes, factories, …


Rock Doc: Exercise helpful in retirement

I don’t know about you, but I find it all too easy to come up with a reason to not exercise on a given day. I tell myself that my …


Earth’s natural changes aren’t always gradual

Many subscribers to this newspaper live on top of a pile of ancient lava flows. The pile is nothing to sneeze at – it’s thousands of feet thick. Part of …


Rock Doc: Digging deep to find source of extinction

Not too long ago I rewrote my will. There’s nothing like such a project to remind me of my mortality. But imagine not just your own individual death, but the …


Rock Doc: Managing cougar populations requires reproductive math

Science often takes a lot of time and work. Those were my thoughts when I learned of all that professor Robert Wielgus has done to research the complex behavior of …


Rock Doc: Retrain taste buds to like foods that are good for us

Lots of us have observed that foods that are good for us – broccoli and bean sprouts – don’t trigger intense cravings. In the late afternoon, when my energy is …


Rock Doc: Hopefully, Rainier stays silent

Mount Rainier is a stunning site. At more than 14,000 feet, its summit is worthy of respect from even serious hikers. There’s no wonder it’s a national park. Mount Rainier …


Rock Doc: Listen up, Buster knows the game

My brown mutt and I went for a walk recently on an old railroad grade at the edge of a ghost-town where we sometimes stroll. Buster Brown is a Lab …


Rock Doc: Adults need to protect against pertussis, too

Even if you don’t have kids in your household, you could be exposed to serious diseases that often affect children. And at the moment there’s a sharp spike upward in …


Rock Doc: Maybe we’re not miles apart

It’s commonplace to observe that we live in very partisan times. Red versus blue factions dominate our public discussions, and there often seems very little room made for agreement in …


Rock Doc: Hitting below the belt

If you’ve recently made a resolution to eat right and trim down, be forewarned that your brain has it in for you and will actively promote your failure on two …


Rock Doc: Waste meets fate in salty tomb

The next time you have a salt shaker handy, remove a few grains. If you have a magnifying glass, you’ll see the salt is really tiny cubes. Salt is a …


Rock Doc: Wheat that won’t die

When I’m feeling down, I like to reflect that the gene for death has been isolated – and reversed – by scientists. Sorry, it’s not the death of human beings …


Those tiny microbes inside each of us offer big benefits

Taken together, the microbes living in you weigh a few pounds. Within our bodies we have more than 10,000 different species of microbes. That’s a lot of different life forms, …


Studies continue to prove Earth’s climate changes often

We’re used to thinking that the weather changes – from day to day and week to week. But it’s also a fact that Earth’s climate is always changing, and it …


Rock Doc: Swimmers hope to avoid drag

I swim laps at noon several times a week. I enjoy the water, and the gentle exercise is good for my aging joints. Like other old ladies in the pool, …


Rock Doc: As coal fires rage, concerns persist

As everyone who reads this paper knows, it’s wildfire season in the West. Wildfires in grasslands often last just a couple of hours or days, and forest fires are generally …


Seed genebanks keep range of crop varieties in vault

I work just a couple of blocks from a special kind of bank. It doesn’t accept money for deposit, it won’t finance a new car, and it wasn’t part of …